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What can be included in a prenup in Virginia?

Now is the time of year for couples in Virginia who got engaged over the holidays to start planning for their upcoming nuptials. It can be easy for couples to become wrapped up in wedding details. However, one detail that they should consider in light of their upcoming marriage is executing a prenuptial agreement (called a premarital agreement under Virginia law).

A prenup is essentially a contract between the prospective spouses that takes effect once the couple is married. Prenups can address many financial issues the couple will face while married. For example, it can outline what rights and obligations each spouse has with regards to both marital and separate assets. This can include the right to purchase, sell, use, dispose of or in any other way manage and control an asset.

Prenups can also dictate which spouse will retain what property if they divorce or should one spouse die. Prenups can include provisions regarding spousal support. In addition, prenups can address the execution of estate planning documents made to carry out the terms of the prenup. Prenups can address other issues as well, as long as they do not violate public policy.

Some people may think that prenups are unromantic. However, they are very practical. Not only do they smooth out the divorce process, should it come to that, but they also open the door to open and honest communication about difficult issues such as money. This could serve a couple well throughout their marriage, even if they never divorce. Thus, soon-to-be wed spouses interested in executing a prenup will each want to seek out independent counsel, to ensure they understand their rights before signing the final document.

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